Why an Energy-Efficient House Can
Decrease Air Quality and How to Improve It
Homes today are designed with energy efficiency in mind. This involves extra insulation and tightly sealed doors and windows to keep energy expenses reasonable. While this is great for your energy bill, it’s not so great for your indoor air quality.
Because air has reduced chances to escape, pollutants can accumulate and affect your house’s indoor air quality. In fact, your house’s air can actually be 2–5 times more unhealthy than the outdoors, according to the EPA. That’s not good for anyone, but it’s particularly detrimental for relatives with allergies, asthma, other respiratory disorders or heart disease.
Let’s discuss some of these everyday pollutants and how you can enhance your house’s indoor air quality.
6 Routine Pollutants that Affect Indoor Air Quality
When you envision pollutants, you could think about smog or tobacco smoke. But a lot of substances that decrease your air quality are common substances. These things contain chemicals known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs.
- Cleaning products, including aerosol sprays, bleach and window cleaner.
- Personal care products, including hairspray, perfume and nail products.
- Candles and air fresheners.
- Formaldehyde, which is commonly used in plastic, foam and particleboard products.
- Furniture, window treatments and carpet, particularly when they’re brand new.
- Paints and stains.
Other typical pollutants include:
- Pet dander
Symptoms of VOC Exposure
Some people are more influenced by VOCs than others. The EPA says symptoms of VOC exposure entail:
- Irritated eyes, nose or throat
In extreme situations, the EPA says VOCs can cause respiratory and heart diseases.
4 Ways to Improve Your House’s Indoor Air Quality
It isn’t difficult to boost your house’s air quality. Here are a couple of suggestions from Harvard Medical School:
1. Clean Your Home Regularly
Frequently cleaning and washing surfaces that attract allergens, including furniture, carpet and bedding, will help cut down on dust, dust mites and pet dander in your residence.
2. Regularly Switch Your Air Filter
This crucial filter keeps your home cozy and air fresh. How often you should change your air filter depends on the kind of filter you use. Flat filters should be replaced each month, while pleated filters should be swapped every three months. If you don’t know if your filter should be replaced, pull it out and tilt it to the light. Get a new one if you can’t see light through it.
If someone in your house suffers from allergies or asthma, we advise installing a filter with a greater MERV rating. The greater the number this is, the better your filter is at getting rid of contaminants.
3. Maximize Natural Ventilation
Keep fresh air in your home by opening windows whenever it’s warm enough. We also recommend running exhaust fans in your bathroom and kitchen often to eliminate pollutants and draw in more fresh air.
4. Chat Our Indoor Air Quality Pros
From whole-home air purifiers, Winnipeg Supply Service Experts has a fix to help your loved ones breathe more freely. We’ll help you find the best option during your free home comfort assessment. Reach us at 204-800-0613 to schedule yours right away!